Friday, 2 May 2014

Waking Up to Love

Have you ever wondered what a baby thinks as he or she opens their eyes for the first time in a mother’s arms? Okay, a baby can’t talk, but who says we can’t think for ourselves even from the very start? We feel reassured, safe...

Ah, but for how long?

It is one of humankind's greater tragedies that many children are born into an environment that will give them neither the love nor care they deserve.

With luck, we are welcomed into the world with love. A sense of the power of love passes from mother to child, and will stay with us always.

Yes, with luck. Sadly it is not the same for all of us, and we have to look elsewhere to discover the power of love for ourselves. Some of us do, others never will. There are so many unwanted children and young people in the world who deserve better.  I have known some people who have gone through the Care system and not only survived, but done well for themselves. Yet, I have also known others who have ended up spending most of their lives in and out of prison, never knowing that wonderful sense of belonging peculiar to family life and being loved as a matter of course, no matter what. My own family life was flawed (whose isn’t?).Even so, that immeasurable sense of belonging helped shape my formative years in a very positive way.

A sense of belonging should never be underestimated. Tragically, it drives some young people to become part of a street gang; gangs are often seen as a substitute family, albeit a poor one. I once knew a family whose children became involved in a local gang culture. When one of the sons went to jail for a gang related offence, the parents saw it as a wake-up call, moved away and set about mending their broken family life. That was years ago. All the children have turned out well and take their own parental responsibilities very seriously; their children will never want for love, care, and a positive sense of direction.


The first thing I saw as I opened my eyes
was a love in my mother’s face
I hadn’t yet learned the words to describe
but sensed I was in a safe place

The first thing I felt as I opened my eyes
was my mother’s arms cradling me;
I hadn’t yet learned the words to describe
but sensed it was a good place to be

The first thought I had as I opened my eyes
was that journey’s end is but the start
of living by and learning words to describe
the love in Earth Mother’s heart

In a world without words, only its first cries
find reassurance in well-meant promises

Copyright R. N. Taber 2008

[Note: This poem was first published under the title Opening Up to Love in Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012[ evised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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